Building New Home Wiring?

Two things I would do…

  • internet backup
  • connect the hub to a Wi-Fi controlled switch/outlet that is not controlled via the st hub. This allows you to manually reboot the hub after a power outage, hub update, our it just decides to stop responding

Here is what I would do if I could do it all over: Think about voice control and speakers - and where you want the power plugs for these devices. Even with Echo and multi-room wireless speakers it would often be great if the distance from the power plug to the best device location was shorter and you don’t have to go through great length to hide the cable. Similar to how in newer homes the power plugs for TV screens are now 5ft high behind the screen.

Also, instead of regular power plugs, consider power plugs with USB built-in where needed for cleaner installations:
http://www.leviton.com/en/products/electrical-wiring-devices/usb-charger-devices.

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Personally I would have a hard wired alarm system installed. It will be up to you whether it is monitored or not by an alarm company however you can integrate all the wired sensors to SmartThings. I integrated my alarm several years ago and I have been extremely happy ever since. I was able to remove several battery powered and duplicate sensors as a result too. Less batteries to change the better!

We just added on to our house this past year and I did all the low voltage wiring. I would highly recommend running speaker wire for ceiling speakers in places like the bedroom and bathrooms, kitchen and dining areas. I would also run HDMI for TVs and many Cat5/6 runs to TVs as well. Cat5/6 wire can pretty much be used for anything as there are tons of baluns available to run various technologies over Category wire. I am old school where I hard wire everything where possible because there is so much wireless interference in neighborhoods. its much cheaper and easier to run wires now than fishing wires later. Before the drywall goes up take lots of pictures and/or video of all the wires and studs so you know where everything is.

If you know you want a smart sensor like the Aeon Multisensor in a room, install a receptacle in the ceiling near it so you van power it via USB. Point is think about where you want sensors and have power or a wire run to power it.

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Hard Wire for Sensors! Door, Windows and places where you know you will need motions.

Power where you know you will need it!

Make sure neutrals are in every box.

Chase from downstairs to upstairs or from Network closet to crawlspace or attic.

Speaker wire for Atmos Audio for entertainment areas (including ceilings).

Speaker wire for whole house audio.

Cat 5e/6 EVERYWHERE

Chase for audio specific things so when technology changes, you can just pull new cable.

I agree with making considerations for voice. I would look at the upcoming release of the ecobee decora style light switches which have alexa built in to them for a whole house voice experience. I also would make sure to wire the home with plenty of Cat 6 cabling as well. In doing that if you think you need two Cat 6 cables in a room double it. You can never have enough network cabling. Keep in mind that HDMI can run on Cat 6 as well so it provides a clean way to network and future proof the home.

Everyone this is so great! Thank you all for taking the time. These ideas are all being recorded and will be added to house. I greatly needed this help.

Low voltage hard lines are one route I considered. If I can find the money, a solar backup just for the low voltage side is in the plan.

I will continue to watch this thread closely. As someone mention my injuries are from service. To me this thread really helps overcome them.

Thank you all!

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One specific that hasn’t been mentioned yet is to install deep back boxes for your outlets and light switches. At least 40 mm deep and 65 if you can. This gives you room in the future to add radio control devices, maybe even two, Which gives you a lot more flexibility in future device selection. It’s one of those things that’s really easy to do at the time of construction, and much harder later. :sunglasses:

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I would have a 12Vdc wired alarm system installed and then you can use standard open/closed sensors and also standard 12VDC smoke/CO detectors.These are also generally more reliable. Go with a Honeywell Vista 20p system and this can be integrated with smarthings so you can monitor the system when not home. Also I have mine setup like this so when everyone leaves the house it automatically arms the alarm and then disarms when a person returns. The Alarm box would also have its own 12VDC batteries and you can use a UPS for your router/modem so internet does not go down.

The neutrals for switches and USB outlets are defiantly a must as others have also stated.

I would also run multiple cat6 lines around the house that you can use for connecting devices including access points and media devices like TVs. In my house I was able to actually wire everything thankfully without ripping down walls and I had it all terminate in the basement to a patch panel that was housed in a nice network rack mounted to the basement wall. So my router, switches, modem etc are all in one nice central location.

VIsta 20 Alarm System (Make sure to get the 6160RF Keypad which supports RF devices also)

Alarm Decoder For smarthings

Network Rack

One thing I forgot to mention in my earlier post is run PVC conduit where you have a bunch of wires for TVs or it can also provide a way to get wires from a crawl to an attic. Much easier to push wires through a pipe than not! Here is an example how I ran wires to my bedroom TV that is mounted on the wall. Make sure you take pictures with measurements too so you know where to cut holes.

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Yes conduit makes a lot of sense, I would do the same thing if building! You can then run HDMI and other cables if needed in the future.

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Yes absolutely, especially when you have the horizontal boards when your ceiling is 9 feet or higher line mine pictured! Really tough to fish wires with those.

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Wow! Definitely loving all the supportive posts! Thank you all and Happy 4th for those that celebrate.

I am wondering what would be everyone’s thoughts on a hardline sensor for the gate at the front of my road? It will be around 800 ft from the house with total road length about 1000 ft. I would like a gate open/close detection sensor and a motion based sensor. What would be the best way to go for such distance?

Thank you all,
Dave

You’ll probably have to use a Dakota for the driveway if you want to detect cars coming in. It’s expensive, but reliable and can handle the range. Take a look at the following thread, in particular the video in the last post.

If you just want a gate open/close sensor, I would look at the Kumo sensors which can probably handle that range and they are nicely weatherproofed. You can integrate them with SmartThings through IFTTT or through a cloud to cloud integration. In either case, you need to buy your ethernet bridge, which cost about $40 and then each individual sensor is about another $40. One Bridge can handle several dozen sensors.

Thank you very much. Without looking at it yet, I’m guessing the Dakota is a magnetic sensor. Worked with some in the past. Would love a quality one. Thank you!

@ritchierich

How were you able to integrate you hardwired alarm with ST? I’m building now and considering ADT Pulse getting installed. But I’m also not sure if I want to go that route or just hardwire all the sensors and somehow run with ST.

Thanks!

Using this project:

Unfortunately the SmartThings Arduino Shield is no longer available and with lack of interest Stan nor I put the effort into updating the code to work with the Ethernet/wifi STAnything library. There are several other DSC and Vista panel integrations on the community. I personally still have monitoring with ADT but the leverage ST for convenience and use the hard wired sensors.

There are many other projects documented as well that don’t require an alarm panel and the sensors are wired to an Arduino or RPi as well. So many options for you, just depends on what you are comfortable with. I do highly suggest hard wiring as many sensors as you can regardless of whether you plan to purchase a panel or have it monitored. Replacing batteries is not fun and gets expensive.

Will any electrician know how to install hardwired alarm sensors? I was considering having ADT come out and do it, but if my electrician will know how to do it for now, without me getting locked into a 3 year contract with ADT, that’d be preferred. I’m still very elementary on this smart home stuff and know NOTHING about coding, nodes, etc. I assume all hardwired sensors will work with any alarm system? Just any off amazon?

Electricians do some “low voltage” stuff but not all. I would ask, but some prefer to avoid it. But it doesn’t have to be ADT and in fact you can call a local AV company and they would likely do it along with your network, speaker, and TV installations. Your electrician may also be able to refer you to someone. This way the wiring is done by someone who won’t require a contract. I personally did much of mine myself in a recent addition to my home, but I am also experienced with doing it.

I highly suggest you future proof your home and run wires where you think you will ever need something like speakers, televisions, etc even if you don’t plan to install or purchase during the build. Especially if your home is on a slab which makes fishing wires more difficult. Much easier to run them now than later and cheaper too. Low voltage doesn’t have to be inspected via electrical code in many areas other than making sure holes have fire block foam. That’s why I did it myself. One of my favorite things about my master suite addition is speakers in my bathroom ceiling and the Bluetooth volume control with an echo dot. It’s nice to listen to news or music while getting ready and my kids enjoy it too.

Never hurts to ask your electrician - if he doesn’t he will likely know someone.

Oh, my sincere congratulations with the designing of your modest home. You know when I used to build my house it took me about 5 years. But I paid attention on every detail, especially the interior. I know that I would not manage to deal with these issues myself. That is why I was in the search of good specialists. Suddenly I found out about V1 Fiber and decided to ask their help. You know they are so good with their service especially telecom fiber and didn’t regret about addressing to them. I can say they really help people but not just try to earn money. Nowadays you don’t know whom to trust but I’m definitely sure that I can trust V1 Fiber. So, I recommend you their service. But for sure that is just my advice. In any way I hope I could help you.